Sample Sunday: So Crazy

Posted 7 June, 2015 by DLWhite in Snips&Shorts, Writers Write 0 Comments

Sample Sunday

Welcome to another Sample Sunday at TheSweetEscape. Today’s snip is from an upcoming release (fingers crossed for mid-July!) called Same Time Next Week.

Blurb:

Jackson Sweeney, former pop star on his way to down-and-out, needed a new start after an old love left his life in ruins. Shelby Morris, a woman in hiding needed a distraction from the scandal that nearly destroyed her.

One night a week. A casual, indulgent habit. Inhibitions low. Expectations high. Pleasure… off the charts.

But Jackson is curious about beautiful, mysterious Shelby, a woman he’s falling for. Shelby fears she will repeat a past she fiercely protects, terrified that when Jackson learns her secrets, he will be disgusted by the woman she used to be.

When an enemy re-enters Shelby’s life, there’s nowhere to run… and this time, her mistakes could hurt someone she’s come to love.

Excerpt:

I am so fucking crazy. Crazy!

It was 4:30 am. Shelby was awake and headed to the store. She needed…milk? Right. At 4:30 in the morning.  With her hair washed, blow dried and cascading over her shoulders, casually dressed in tight jeans and a form fitting t-shirt and flip flops, to show off her freshly painted toes. A light dusting of powder, mascara, some lip gloss, her new designer shades and a spritz of body spray.

“Oh my God,” she ranted to herself, the bright blue and green Publix sign coming into view just aheadHer heartbeat sped up almost double time“I look crazy. It’s not like I’ll see him two days in a row. I don’t even know why I’m going. I totally look like I got dolled up to go to the grocery store. For milk! And if he’s in there, it’s totally going to look like I’m trying to make up for looking like ass yesterday.”

Shelby pulled into a spot near the entrance, turned off the car, and stepped inside the brightly lit store, a list in one hand, purse in the other.

“I can’t even stand myself right now. Why am I here? I’m so ridiculous.”

“Excuse me?” Shelby whipped around, not realizing anyone would be around to hear her. One of the janitors was behind her, dust mop in hand, dark brown eyes quizzically staring at her.

“Nothing,” she replied, shaking her head, dumping her purse into a cart and pushing it forward. “Just… sorry. Nothing.”

Shelby quickly marked items off of her list−things she just had to come and pick up at this time of morning, with her hair done and makeup on and her best jeans and that shirt she loved that hit her waist just right. She was not, absolutely not, subconsciously looking for him. He wasn’t crazy like her, frequenting grocery stores before sunrise, while no one else in the world was awake.

She didn’t see him. She didn’t expect to, but was still disappointed to not run into him. Despondent, she unloaded the items from her cart and stood in the checkout line, watched the clerk bag them and set the bags in the cart, paid for her groceries and slowly wheeled the cart to her car.

Maybe… somewhere… deep in the recesses of her mind, she thought she might see him again. And maybe she was hoping to make up for the day before, when she looked so terrible. And maybe show him what she really looked like when she put some effort into it.

Shelby sighed, popping the trunk.

And then maybe he’d ask her out and they’d have a great time and keep dating and live happily ever after. Or maybe (and more realistically) they’d just hook up and have some mind-blowing sex. Blow off some steam. It had been a long, long time since she’d even felt like having sex. She barely remembered what it was like to enjoy it. He oozed sex. She could use some of that, right about now.

Of course it wouldn’t be just the sex that she’d be interested in. She’d never met a celebrity before. Not a real one, anyway. Lucas knew a lot of high powered people and she’d met them all, but no one that anyone would recognize if they walked down the street. Or ran into her with their grocery cart. None of them had that smile or those eyes or that voice. None of them seemed amazingly down to earth and normal. Any celebrity that did his own shopping at 4am was nowhere near spoiled-he was just trying to survive like everyone else.

Shelby began transferring bags from the cart to her car, mentally berating herself.  I can’t even believe I was actually putting effort into it. Like, really trying to meet him again, after bawling my eyes out over Lucas earlier-“

“Hey, there. Thought you looked familiar.”  Shelby froze, her hands hanging in midair, tan plastic grocery bag dangling from two fingers.

That voice. The way it sent tingles down her spine, she’d know it anywhere.

But her body wouldn’t move, no matter how hard she tried to casually turn around and flip her hair back and give him a bright smile. The most she could do was turn her head, slowly, and look at his feet, clad  in red and black sneakers, then let her eyes travel up his body, over jeans that pooled at the ankles and were loose all the way up the leg and hung low on his hips. She tried hard to skip over the bulge at the junction of his thighs but… she couldn’t. Her gaze lingered there longer than she’d planned. Mmmph. She wondered if the rumors about him were true.

Shelby resisted licking her lips, tore her eyes away from his groin and forced them up. Up over the Ed Hardy hoodie he wore with the grey t-shirt underneath and what appeared to be a ring of dried sweat around the collar. She wondered what he’d been doing, that he was sweating so hard. And why he was out at so early… or late… again. Was he with someone? And then came to talk to her? Asshole.

A pang shot through her. Felt like envy. She hated herself for feeling it.

Her eyes finally made it to a long, thin face, with more than a 5 o’clock shadow growing, a nose that should really detract from his looks but oddly enhanced them and two gorgeous pools of sparkling blue that were narrowed and hooded as he stared at her, a wrinkle of concern spreading across his forehead.

“Are you okay? Let me help you with that.”

She swallowed the lump in her throat and let him reach around her for the rest of the bags in her cart and watched him gingerly place them in the trunk. He stepped back and smiled. She stared, speechless.

“Oh, this too? Let me…uh…” Jackson stepped forward again, took the bag that was hanging from her fingers and placed it among the others. “That’s it? Anything else going in here? Better grab your purse.”

Shelby just about smacked herself, trying to bring her mind into focus, grabbing her purse and sliding it onto her arm. “Thank you. I appreciate your help.” She smiled up at him, hoping she didn’t look like a lovesick teenager. It was just that he was so… so close and so much better looking in person than on TV and in pictures, and she looked better, she thought, this time around and ohmyGodpleasetalktome.

“I was going to close this…” Jackson had one hand on the top of the trunk and was moving to close it, asking for permission with a raised eyebrow. Shelby nodded and stepped back.  The trunk closed with a soft thunk, after which he shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans, and shrugged his shoulders. An uncomfortable smile drifted between them, as if each one expected the other to say something.

“So. I guess you like to shop this early, too.”  Shelby inwardly rolled her eyes at herself. Lame.

“Sometimes,” he answered, glancing up at the neon green Publix sign outside of the store. “It’s somewhere to go. And it’s open and cool inside. It starts getting hot as soon as the sun comes up, so…” Jackson bobbed his head from one side to the other. Shelby thought that was the cutest thing she’d ever seen.

“I totally get that. Not a lot of places are open this early. Or… late. Miami is a twenty-four hour city. I’m surprised at how this place slows down at night.”

“Mmhmm,” he said, nodding. “Yeah, I uh… have spent some time down in Miami. It is like that, yeah. LA, too. I’m starting to miss that. I mean, there’s places open, just…”

“When you get used to being able to get whatever you want, you just can’t settle for waffles at Denny’s.”

He nodded, looking relieved that she commiserated. Honestly, she was relieved that he understood. “I don’t sleep well,” she confessed. “There’s usually no one here this time of morning. It’s peaceful. A safe place to walk around, at least.”

His eyes sparkled, giving her a warning that a joke was coming. “Until some jackass runs into your cart and ruins the whole experience.”

She laughed, just starting to relax, enjoying this encounter much more than the previous one. “Right. Or some jackass is in the way of your cart.”

He laughed, much to her delight.  The sound was genuine, deep and chesty and chuckle inducing itself. She wanted to hear it again. And again and again.

He gestured toward the automatic doors, opening and closing as people were walking in and out. The city was waking up. “Well, uh…I better head in and pick up my stuff. My day starts around noon. I need to get home and get some rest. It was nice seeing you, again.”

Shelby could not imagine why they couldn’t just stand around smiling at each other and laughing at lame jokes until sunrise. “Yeah, you too. Maybe we’ll do it again… sometime.”

Jackson turned before walking inside, the greatest grin on his face. “That would be nice. That would be really nice. Take care, honey.” He gave her a nod, just a tip of his head and wiggled a few fingers at her in a wave, then turned and walked inside. Sauntered inside.

Goddamn, that man was sexy.

Shelby unlocked her car door and poured herself inside, then slumped forward onto the steering wheel, trying not to scream. That would be ridiculous and immature. But…. he called her honey.



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